FRENCH LOUIS XV STYLE MARQUETRY INLAID BIBLIOTHEQUE CIRCA 1900
Clock dial signed “Thomire et Cie”, “Henry Robert"; lock signed "V.F. Paris"
Item # 604PDW18X
An intricately veneered case with a lovely form and dimension, this very fine bookcase is crafted in the Louis XV taste during the height of the Belle Epoque period at the turn of the century. With only 7 1/2” in overall depth, the case barely projects into the room while bringing a wealth of architecture to an interior - the shelves are probably intended more for display of a collection versus functionally housing books, as the depth is somewhat prohibitive.
Beneath the open bookshelves, a pair of doors are intricately inlaid with marquetry florals around the keyhole escutcheons, the four quadrants of the doors crossbanded to create sharply angular grain effects set perpendicular to the darker veneers around the border. This theme of contrasting colors and opposing angles is continued through most veneered panels in the case, but is softened by the nearly total absence of hard lines in the design. The cabriole legs flow into a scrolling apron, the doors mirroring the relentless scroll of the parquetry flanked by curved corner columns and nearly Pagoda-form crest.
The top plank is lifted from the case with four tiny wooden pegs, allowing easy access to the clock movement - this is signed on the dial “Thomire et Cie” and “Henry Robert” - currently the movement is not functioning, but we do not complete clock restoration in the shop so this will have to be serviced or restored upon receipt. The back of the case is a simple and orderly construction with the tenon mortised framing locked together with tiny wooden pins, holding the larger oak panels set inside of grooves in the framing.
There is a harmony and perfection in the 19th century French designs that lends depth and history to even the most modern interior. This petite biblioteque is particularly wonderful for it’s substantial presence in a rather small footprint.
Measurements: 64 1/4” H x 23 3/4” W x 7 1/2” D
Age appropriate wear (veneer cracking/minor blemishes) with color touchups and minor veneer patching. Clock movement sold as-is: untested for functionality.